2017 Salem Jazz and Soul Festival Schedule of Events

Its finally here! The 2017 Salem Jazz and Soul Festival celebrates its 11th season of bringing FREE live funk, soul and jazz to the sandy shores of Salem Willows.

This year’s lineup is made up of new acts and returning favorites who are guaranteed to please and get your toes tapping!  The festival kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 19th with The Salem High School Jazz Band opening and the A-beez closing out the day. This underscores both the breadth and depth of the music that has become the SJSF’s calling card. For more information about attending the festival, please check out the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Schedules, parking information, night time club shows schedule and much, much more.  Shown below is just the schedule grids for the day festival main stage and education tent.  Please see the official program for information on the individual acts.  SEE YOU THERE!

Saturday, August 19th 2017

Salem High School Jazz Band

(11 a.m.-noon)Salem High School Jazz Band Led by Cynthia Naiperkowski. The coordinator of music and band direction of the Salem High School Jazz Band. The SHSJB has opened the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival every year since its inception.

Cynthia Napierkowski is the Recipient of the George N. Parks Award from the National Association for Music Education and Music for All. A firm believer that a well-rounded music program makes for well-rounded people. As Cynthia likes to say, “I truly believe that music makes a significant difference in our students’ lives.” And the results is this amazing group of young people. Not to be missed.

Anibal Cruz

(12:30-1:30 p.m.)

Anibal Cruz studies piano at Berklee College of Music. He graduated from the Jose White Conservatory in Camaguey, Cuba, and from Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba. He has a strong presence in the Latin music scene around the Boston area, both as a freelance musician and as leader of the Latin jazz band Clave and Blues. Rooted in classical music and Afro-Cuban jazz, Anibal Cruz’s playing style is influenced by his Cuban piano heritage and the sounds of Chucho Valdez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Tony Perez as well as jazz icons like Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock.


Watch Anibal Cruz play ‘Beserker’





Reed Turchi

(2-3 p.m.)

As low-down and lonesome as the Blues may be, listening to the song—or playing it—is nevertheless cathartic, hard-won resilience washes away despair.  The despair isn’t entirely removed, however; rather, like a long-handled broom, it is left leaning in the corner.  And, of course, the work of composing new Blues music, is also an act of research and preservation.  As with any folk tradition, one must reach back to the deepest roots.  There one finds not singularity, but rich variety, styles and tunings and riffs that have blended together to be, ultimately, inseparable.  And, yet, when the right player and the right voice perform the right songs, the result is wholly singular.  That is how one working within a tradition makes an original contribution.  And that is how I hear this fine record.  Reed Turchi has delivered an original, unvarnished interpretation of a long musical tradition.  Tallahatchie taps the sacred and profane roots behind it to make those mysterious, conflicted energies vital all over again.  Such renewal keeps the art alive, and this record is as alive as a whippoorwill singing from a midnight hillside.

Reed Turchi’s website


Electric Soul and Jazz with Johnny Trama & The B3 Kings

(3:30-5  p.m.)

Based in Boston, the Johnny Trama & The B3 Kings have been a driving force in the Northeast region’s music scene for over 10 years. With a Hammond organ driven sound draws from influences such as Dr. Lonnie Smith, The Meters, Booker T. and the MGs, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, and Billy Preston, their dynamic blend of soul, jazz and funk features an ever-evolving who’s who of the area’s best musicians. Add in the special guests that sit in on any given night, and get ready for a unique and entrancing experience at every show.

The B3 Kings’ core band includes Johnny Trama on electric guitar, Rusty Scott on Hammond B3 organ, Mark Hickox on electric bass, Tom Arey on drums, and Nephtaliem McCrary, aka Nephrok!, on vocals. Rotating players include Ken Clark and Keith Hollis on B3; Dean Johnston, Dave Brophy and Dave DiCenso on drums..

The B3 Kings on Youtube

Girl from the North Country.mp3

The A-Beez

(5:30-7 p.m.)


The A-Beez is Boston based music collective with its roots in soul, funk, and R&B. At its core are keyboardist Amy Bellamy and bassist Aaron Bellamy. The two began their musical collaboration in the early 2000’s as members of the Sam Kininger band (BMG Japan recording artists). This relationship would blossom, as they would go on to work as sidemen and studio/session musicians, backing up numerous artists including Chaka Khan, Beyonce, Terri Lyne Carrington, Elan Trotman, Martin Luther, Cody Chestnut, Cee- lo Green and many more.

In addition to touring nationally and internationally, Amy and Aaron are staples of the local Boston scene, hosting a long-standing (over 12 years and still running) residency at Boston’s renowned Wally’s Café and performing in clubs and venues throughout New England and the East coast. In the years to come they would co-write and compile a catalog of original material that would eventually culminate in the release of their debut album “Never Going Back” which was released in April 2015.


Sunday, August 20th 2017

North Shore Jazz Project All Stars

(11 a.m.-noon)North Shore Jazz Project All Stars North Shore Jazz Project All Stars is a world-class, youth jazz band featuring the best high school musicians on Boston’s North Shore. The group is led by local tenor saxophonist, Mike Tucker, a Berklee College of Music graduate and professor.

The All Stars are now under the umbrella of the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival, since its merge in late 2015.

“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to work directly with the talented students of the North Shore Jazz Project All Stars,” said Nick Giarratani, SJSF’s education director. “This merger gives us yet another opportunity to expand our educational involvement in the communities that we serve.”

Read the entire merge press release here.
North Shore Jazz Project All Stars on Facebook
North Shore Jazz Project All Stars on YouTube

Parker Wheeler Allstars featuring Pete and Yamica Peterson

(12:30-1:30 p.m.)

The All Stars were conceived in April of 2014 to feature the music of saxophonist/flutist Amadee Castenell. Amadee relocated from New Orleans in the early 1990’s and has become a fixture on the Boston music scene and a Sunday regular at the Grog for more than a decade always bringing top-shelf support to our musical guests just as he has with his RCA band Chocolate Milk and his numerous recording and concert appearances with Dr John, Dave Bartholemew, Etta James, Irma Thomas, Marvin Gaye and Paul McCartney to name a few.
The All Stars are now a wonderful musical entity that features fresh takes on old favorites and originals, The music may be described as Jazz, Blues, R&B, Neo Soul, Americana. At the heart of it is the collective desire to bring a tune to life, move feet, touch an emotion.
This afternoons set features Amadee Castenell saxophone/flute, Parker Wheeler harmonica/vocals, Tom West keyboard, Kevin Belz guitar Steve Monahan bass/vocals, Maureen Medeiros percussion, Steve Bankuti drums and newest All Star – vocalist Yamica Peterson.
Special guest guitarist/vocalist Pete Peterson joins daughter Yamica to add the flair of their duo “Family Affair” to the mix. And thus how today’s show is “All Star Family Affair”.


Lydia Harrell

(2-3 p.m.)


Lydia “The LovelySinger” Harrell is one of Boston’s finest musical treasures. Her sultry, soulful voice and evocative songwriting have garnered her the attention and respect of the nation’s finest musicians and venues.  Jazz/Soul is where her heart is, however, Lydia has shown an unbreakable ability to mold herself into any musical situation.  Be it performing with the Boston Pops, serenading NBA fans with America’s National Anthem, or lending her vocal talents to a chart-topping deep house singles by British record label, Reel People Music, Lydia’s dedication to extracting the pure essence of song goes virtually unmatched.

Lydia consistently performs in more than 150 shows a year not only as a solo act, but also in collaborations with other artists such as world renowned jazz musician, Bobby Floyd and as one-half of  the duo “The Lady Parts” providing backing vocals for Zap MamaRyan MontbleauAlbert Cummings and more.  Her most recent musical accolades include singing lead on a Bob Marley Tribute Album distributed by Sony Music Latin, winning the 2015 Duke Ellington Jazz Vocal Competition, performing at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC (2016) and winning the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival Voice Competition.


Eric Reardon

(3:30-5 p.m.)

Eric has playing guitar for over 18 years. He has grown into a well-known player, songwriter and band organizer in the Greater Boston area. He plays with up and coming bands like; Sarah and The Wild Versatile, Skunk Sessions – and sits in with Henley Douglas and “HDRnB”. As one of the North Shore’s top guitarists, Eric can join any band and add his personal touch to their sound. He has opened for acts including; The Heavy Metal Horns, Robert Randolph and the Family Band , Booker T and the MGs , Maroon 5, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds , Dave Mason and Nick Moss.  Ask anyone who has played with Eric, or watch yourself, as he provides solid leadership “in-the-moment” as songs, jams and transitions evolve. He is always thinking ahead while playing
Eric is the anchor for the Mercy Tavern (former In a Pig’s Eye) Friday Blues Jams.  He plays at venues throughout New England with various projects and he gives his time to play for local causes and benefits.

New England Blues legend James Montgomery had this to say:  “…What impresses me and my other band members about him is that he is a very inventive player, way beyond his years in terms of being able to just jam and go with it. His solos are seamless. He’s got really great ears, not only for someone his age, but for anyone.”

“The thing about Eric is that he has something to say, and he can say it through his instrument and it is totally valid. That’s how you start. It’s like learning how to carry on a conversation. He’s a great communicator.” said Henley Douglas Jr.

His new self-titled album – released through Sounds of Salem Soul Records (SOSS) – shows his range of skills and styles.


(5:30-7 p.m.)

Since the group’s formation in 2011, the Brian Thomas /Alex Lee-Clark Big Band has gained a reputation for featuring some of the best players in Boston, great compositions, and being undeniably unique. They take the tradition of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Thad Jones, and infuse it with funk music of their idols like Parliament Funkadelic. EvenThe Crusaders, The Meters, James Brown & the JB’s and many more. They’ve created a sound that pushes the art of big band forward, while still being pure entertainment for both the band and the audience.

BT/ALC Big Band on YouTube

DJ Radio Scotvoid spins both days between sets.

Salem Five Music Education Tent Schedule

This year marks the 3rd year of the Salem Five Music Education Tent.  Stop by and you just might learn a thing or two!  The Education Tent has been a highlight for many festival-goers and represents many of the “hidden gems” of the festival.  Dwayne Dopsie’s zydeco history session was particularly burning!  Stop by and you might learn a thing or two!

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Justine Pasquale, Open Mics and You (12:00-12:45pm)

Local music educator and budding performer, Justine Pasquale, will discuss developing your musicianship in your local open mic jams. Justine will answer many of your questions about performing in these venues with opportunities to try out your chops!


Holly Cameron, Hitting the High Notes (1:30-2:15pm)

Classically trained soprano, Holly Cameron, has a growing reputation for her interpretation of the blues/soul genre. Join her to learn more about how learning some simple classical techniques can help you successfully sing a variety of genres, some great vocal exercises, tips and tricks for hitting the high notes, and a open Q&A session!

3:00-3:45 TBA

5:00-5:45 TBA

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

Sit in with the North Shore Jazz Project All Stars (12:00pm – 12:45pm)

Members of the NSJPAS will be discussing their experience in the group and what it takes to make a youth big band go!


Jeff Buckridge, Ukelele Blues (1:30pm – 2:15pm)

Learn how to perform a simple blues progression on ukulele, easy enough for a beginner!  Jeff will also delve into how to approach improvisation on the ukulele.  Ukuleles will be provided…or bring your own!


BT/ALC Big Band, Bring the Funk (3:00pm – 3:45pm)

Sharing what they have learned in their schooling and on the bandstands is one of their favorite things!  In this session, the BT/ALC Big Band will collectively compose a new funk tune, discuss and experiment with improvisation tools, and perform it live! Bring your axe and get involved!


Adria Smith, Jazz Arranging & Composition (5:00pm – 5:45pm)

Pianist Adria Smith will be performing with her trio (Zach Bridges, bass; PJ Holoday, drums).  The Adria Smith Trio will play straight ahead jazz standards and original compositions and arrangements while discussing writing arranging techniques.

Even the award winning ResortsAndLodges.com site is writing about our funky little festival. Read their piece ‘Closing out Summer in Style at the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival’ here.